Boko Haram Takfiri militants have been cleared from Nigeria’s northeastern state of Yobe, following the reclaiming of the town of Goniri, military says.
“We announced the reclaiming of Goniri today,” AFP quoted defense spokesman Chris Olukolade as saying on his Twitter account on Monday.
He added that Goniri was the Takfiri militant’s last strong hold in Yobe.
Last week, the army announced that the state of Adamawa had been cleared of the ISIL militants.
“Adamawa is free, Yobe is free, Borno is soon to be freed by our able military,” Olukolade added via a separate tweet.
Earlier in the day, following days of intense fighting the ISIL Takfiri militants were forced out of from Bama in Borno State, said defense authorities.
Before retaking the town, the militants torched residents’ homes. The fire forced large numbers of residents to flee to state capital Maiduguri.
Bama fell into the hands of the militants on September 11, 2014.
The town of Gwoza is now the only town under the control of Boko Haram in Borno.
The three Nigerian states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, located in Nigeria’s northeastern regions, have been the core of six years of Boko Haram violence, which has claimed over 13,000 lives and displaced a further 1.5 million people.
In May 2013, all three states were put in a state of emergency while troops and civilian forces pushed the militants out of urban centers into remote rural areas.
In November 2014, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan (pictured below) attempted to extend the state of emergency for a third time but the country’s parliament blocked his move.
The violence intensified to a point where the Nigerian army lost control of the situation and failed to stop the takeover of scores of villages and towns in all three states.
The Boko Haram violence and a four-country military operation set back Nigeria’s presidential elections by six weeks.
Over the past weeks, Nigerian troops backed by soldiers from Chad, Niger, and Cameroon have been carrying out operations to secure and stabilize the northeast before the presidential vote, slated for March 28.
Last week, the army announced that during the joint operations, a total of 36 towns in the three states had been recaptured from the militants.
Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is forbidden,” recently declared allegiance to the ISIL Takfiri group which is perpetrating heinous crimes against humanity in areas under its control in Iraq, Syria, and Libya.